TennisSection previews the 2022 Adelaide Open as Thanasi Kokkinakis takes on Mikael Ymer in the quarterfinal on Friday, January 7th, 2022.
Will Thanasi Kokkinakis win it all? Well, stranger things have happened. Or will Mikael Ymer prove to be the stumbling block in his way? This will be a compelling quarterfinal at the 2022 Adelaide Open between two fine shot-makers.
Thanasi Kokkinakis is a wild card entrant at this year’s Adelaide Open. Australian fans and especially in his home city of Adelaide have always warmed up nicely towards him in recent years, but have maintained low expectations on the 25-year-old given the time he has spent on the treatment table rather than a tennis court. This explains why Kokkinakis’ potential path towards a first ATP title has not ignited enough fire. There is smoke though. Kokkinakis has pulled off two outstanding wins over the perpetually tough compatriot John Millman and then a stunner over fourth-seeded American Frances Tiafoe. This marked the first time since 2019 that Kokkinakis has secured back-to-back wins on the ATP Tour. Can he make it 3 out of 3 when he takes on Mikael Ymer?
Mikael Ymer, like Thanasi Kokkinakis, has also won two matches on the trot at the 2022 Adelaide Open. He has not won three in a row since that memorable run to the Winston Salem final last August. The odds might be stacked against the 23-year-old Swede, but he relishes the underdog status. Ymer defeated a fast-improving Benjamin Bonzi in straight sets before proceeding to do the same against Kwon Soowoo in the second round. Victory over the South Korean came at such a canter, with Ymer winning 74% first-serve points and converting three out of nine breaks. A 6-3 6-2 wins sounds one-way traffic, but Ymer saved nine breakpoints on his serve in the match.
Thanasi Kokkinakis and Mikael Ymer will meet for the first time at the 2022 Adelaide Open. Both players have been Challenger Tour campaigners but did not cross paths in years gone by. Part of it is due to Kokkinakis’ time away from the court nursing a series of injuries. But now that he is fit and raring to go, we hope this rivalry can blossom no matter how late it is in their careers. Kokkinakis is a fine shot maker. He has a rasping backhand drive and some really nice passing shots when he is pinned in defensive positions. Ymer is pretty much in the same mould. But I have to tip my hat to Kokkinakis. The perseverance and patience to wait for this moment after the tumult of injuries is extraordinary. And he will be playing in front of a vocal crowd.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Thanasi Kokkinakis in 3 sets
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